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Another year, another Harvey Reid newsletter... Here I am again, wrestling with the spellchecker (Spellchecker wasn't in the computer dictionary... hmmm) saying hello to everyone, waving and shaking hands like I am running for office, and turning trees into news. I wish you all well and wish I had time to have a proper visit with everyone. It's hard work making our busy lives seem glamorous and collecting stories, photos and tidbits to share– how does Martha Stewart do it?
Either I am getting happier or else there is less to complain about, but the news all seems good. I am still traveling, healthy, playing music, enjoying the whirlwind, and minstrel business is good. It's a year of notable anniversaries; this is my 10th newsletter, and my new CD celebrates the 20th birthday of my first LP. I guess I am a survivor, and I'm still on the island.
Chordally yours, Harvey Reid
<--Still Collaborating... Playing mandocello with Joyce Andersen (www.joyscream.com) at the Apple Acres Bluegrass Festival in Cornish, Maine on a perfect Fall day. We are still playing a lot of concerts together, though we both perform solo, and we both are releasing new solo CD's in 2003. (R. St. Pierre)
This Year's CD
I did it again and made yet another CD, #16, titled Dreamer or Believer in Sept 2002. It is a 2-disc set, crammed with 40 cuts (156 minutes!), with a song and an instrumental cut from each of the 20 years starting in 1982 when I released my first LP. It was designed to be interesting to people who are long-time fans and also to people who aren't as familiar with my work. So it's both a Greatest Hits collection and a "basement tapes,” with 20 cuts taken from existing CD's and the other 20 unreleased* or long out-of-print. (See the song list below.) It has some very fun live cuts from concerts and bar gigs from long ago, and some lost songs. It has been getting great reviews and a lot of airplay, and gives you a chance to hear how little the coming and going of disco, glam rock, grunge, hip-hop etc. have impacted me. See below for review. For details or ordering info
Guitar Book Progress
I spent a week this summer working on my seemingly forgotten guitar book, working with Jeff Hickey, who can write music, and we painstakingly transcribed almost a book's worth of my guitar arrangements, and it will truly not be long until there is something in print, with every note just the way I play it
Identity theft on the spam front. Somehow a major spammer was able to use my e-mail address as his (or her) return address, so if you got some wacko (or even porno) spam from me, it was not from me. Luckily they seem to have moved on and are using other stolen identities. It's bad enough to get all the spam I get, but to have other people think I was sending all that was more than annoying and embarrassing. What'll they think of next?
New folk clubs are opening up close to home, which is a very exciting sign that the times may really be a' changin'. The Crescent Dragon Cafe (www.crescentdragongallerycafe.com) is now a year old in downtown Haverhill, MA, doing local acoustic music and art. Capo's (www.caposfolk.com) in downtown Lowell, MA just opened up in Sept. 2002, and is a cool club with great food, atmosphere, sound and top-notch folk performers 4 nights a week. The Big Kahuna Cafe (www.thebigkahunacafe.com) in Bridgton, Maine is also a great new acoustic music room 1/2 hr. from Portland ME, and specializes in folk and acoustic blues. Too many places have closed over the years, and to have fresh, new, professional acoustic music rooms is a good sign, and I hope this is happening elsewhere. There is certainly no shortage of good musicians to play in them. I see it as a logical consequence of the shrinking number of artists thriving in the Big-Time, and an ever-increasing number of new artists who see being independent as a viable path. Guess who the big winners are in the New Music Economy? The audience. The ones who have figured out that there are lots of wonderful musicians playing in small rooms, for the price of a movie.
Another First... First time I ever had my picture on the side of a truck– it was in Salento, Italy (I'm in the lower R corner.) It was a wonderful 2-day festival with many great guitarists. (HR)
I didn't buy it... If you don't have internet access,
you are really missing out on a chance to see the screaming neon lime green
color of this coat I tried on outside an L.A. boutique. (Go to the web site
and see it in color!) These fake fake fur things were in all the stores last
year there, but mysteriously failed to catch on here in Maine. They must have
been test-marketed, and I guess somebody bought them. It would probably keep
you from getting shot during hunting season. (J. Andersen)
I produced a new compilation CD titled "Seacoast Guitarists- Volume I for the Seacoast Guitar Society (www.seacoastguitar.org) that was released in November 2002 at a sold-out concert, with 2 cuts each by me, Denny Breau, Chris O'Neill, Randy Armstrong, Jim Gallant, Lincoln Meyers and Dan Miner. They are all great players, and the SGS is hoping to showcase more of our community of talented musicians who work locally.To read more about the CD or about the Seaoast Guitar Society.
About Internet Radio
2 days after this newsletter went to print, the lame duck US Congress passed a law, (brought to us single-handedly by Sen Jesse Helms, not usually such a friend to folk musicians) which will allow small internet broadcasters to continue to function without the threat of exorbitant fees.
I sent an e-mail message out in May 2002 to my e-mail list, urging everyone
to pay attention to the issue of internet radio, and I owe you an update. I'm
not an activist, but I know enough about the world to recognize that there was
a problem brewing. In the wake of their success against Napster and world of
internet file-trading, the large record companies (represented by an organization
called RIAA) decided to go after internet radio, claiming that since it involved
sending digitized music over the internet, it was stealing too. I disapprove
of the file-trading thing, whereby people download compressed but very good-sounding
digital files of songs (usually what are known as MP3's) instead of buying
music on a CD. But many real radio stations and "webcasters who exist
only on the internet do what is called "streaming audio which is
a much-lower quality signal (worse than a cassette) that allows anyone anywhere
in the world to listen to their radio station through their computer. This means
that if a DJ in Iceland is playing some good blues, you can listen in Japan,
and is a huge hope for getting all the music on the fringes of the business
to the listeners everywhere who want it. You need more than a dial-up modem
to enjoy it, but by the time we all get that it may be too late to find the
music you would want, if you only knew it existed.
The RIAA wants internet broadcasters to pay a special fee to record companies, in addition to the fees they pay to copyright owners through the ASCAP and BMI system. They wanted this new fee to be retroactive to 1998, and to be a per-listener per song thing, that would have effectively bankrupted all but the biggest internet broadcasters. They did something like this in the 1980's and put a tax on blank tape, and collected millions that I have never seen any accounting for. The big boys have taken over radio, TV, print media, store shelves (you think I am exaggerating-- if you only knew how centralized the control is, and not just of music, but news too), and the internet remains just about the only place where the people can hear all kinds of music not owned by the big companies.
They had hearings, and decided in June 2002 to levy a fee of half the original proposed one, which is still too big for small netcaster's budgets, since many of them have no revenue stream. There is a lot of negotiating going on, and internet radio is not dead yet, but it needs help. I proposed building a list of artists and record labels (and even built a small list) so those of us who control our own music could give permission to the internet radio people to play our music without the fee, since we see it as desirable airplay and advertising for our music. www.saveinternetradio.org is a place to go to learn more. It is a crucial time in the fate of internet radio, and I urge all of you to learn about the problem, and write letters and do your part to keep it alive so we can spread around the music the big guys don't want us to hear.
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